It never gets easier, you just get stronger.

I’ve come to a defining point in my cancer journey. Having completed the most harrowing part of my treatment, I have started my road to recovery. Although treatment is far from finished (I have 3 weekly Herceptin injections until April 2020 and daily Tamoxifen tablets for 10 years) the less severe side effects from my current therapies are at least allowing me to get on with some of my favourite activities.

Chemotherapy was certainly the most limiting in letting me live as I normally would. Low immunity and the very serious risk of infection was the main reason for me not being able to take part in my weekly aqua aerobics class for example. I am happy to report that I have gone back to my weekly class and better still, managed not to pick up any bugs so far. There was certainly a temptation to go to the extreme at first and fill my days with exercise – going back to aqua was great so why not do it twice a week? Then there was the opportunity to try out barre, which is a ballet inspired exercise class so I signed up for that as well. Also, I really wanted to take part in a very energetic dance based exercise class. Before long, I was doing 4 classes in one week, along with regular walks. Yes, I was overdoing it and my body complained bitterly. I woke up with backache and my vein damaged ‘treatment’ arm was very sore. I was also immensely tired.

So there’s a lot to be said for pacing yourself and not going too mad (like I did at first). I have now come to a steady arrangement that suits me: an exercise regime that makes me feel well and a reduction in the aches and pains. I am enjoying doing some ‘normal’ things and I’m feeling the benefit of doing regular exercise.

I started this blog post by saying I have come to a defining point in my cancer journey and although life will never be the same again – there is always the underlying fear of a recurrence and I am still putting up with side effects from my treatment – things are slowly getting better in many ways. Dealing with having a life changing diagnosis like cancer never gets easier but I have got stronger over time.

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